Hi everyone, and welcome to a brand new appointment of my blog, that I’ve called Wandertalks! Inside Wandertalks I will interview and introduce you to some of the most interesting and cool people I know. Today we chat with Will Wheeler, yoga teacher and brand ambassador in London.
The idea of this interview took shape after a hard class of TRX that Will and I attended in Chelsea a few days ago. We were having a snack, I was incredibly tired after that workout, whereas Will had his usual smiley and relaxed face. Chatting with Will is always a boost of motivation. I tend to be a bit lazy and my head is often all over the place, lost in hundreds projects I try to juggle, but that day after class we talked about the importance of mapping our goals, making a step-by-step plan and keeping focused and productive. I thought it would be great to interview Will for The Artful Wanderer and so… here we go!
Hello Will! There’s quite a lot I’d like to ask you, so why don’t we start with you telling us where you’re from, and when and why you decided to move to London?
“I’m Will, I am 28 years old and I decided to move to London 10 years ago from the West Country. I come from a small town in Wiltshire and couldn’t wait to get to London for the bright lights of the West End, the culture & the buzzing atmosphere.”
You started your professional career as a performer. When did you first get to know yoga and fitness, and what made you realise you wanted to enter that world and study to become a teacher?
“I joined a friend for a class and a coffee to catch up, it was then I got hooked on hot yoga and undertook my first yoga teacher training with yogahaven London. I cleaned mats, I worked for them as a receptionist, I undertook their teacher training programme and then became one of their full-time instructors. I loved the feeling I got after hot-yoga classes. My body felt open and free, I wanted that feeling as much as possible and thought ‘why not share it with others?’. So, I became a teacher.”
What, in your opinion, can yoga add to our everyday life, and how does it impact us as persons?
“When I’ve done yoga I feel much calmer, grounded and I can think clearly (and have less busy thoughts than usual). I recommend anyone that feeling, whether you live in a busy city or are juggling a full on work pattern or family life. It will give you a sense of calmness. Especially if you slow down completely with a class like Restorative Yoga, these sessions can really rest and restore you.”
What are you current work commitments, do you teach somewhere regularly? Can you briefly tell us about your activity as ambassador for
lululemon as well?
As you mentioned I am an ambassador the Canadian yoga apparel brand lululemon. It’s brought so much fun to my life, I’ve tried so many fitness styles and concepts way out of my comfort zone, networked with great industry folks and got to wear their fab technical products for sweat and yoga too.”
Your yoga retreats are very successful! And your Instagram feed always gives us a glimpse of the lovely atmosphere that seems to create spontaneously at every event. What’s your concept of a yoga retreat, and what are the key elements you have in mind when you organize one?
“The yoga retreat is all about giving back to you. People spend so much time being busy and being pulled by the stresses of modern life, work, family. These retreats are all about restoring back to the best you through daily yoga classes, delicious wholesome food (prepared by fantastic retreat chefs), downtime for things like treatments, massages, pool time or simply sleeping! I highly recommend them (and I love going on them too!).”
Do you have any yoga retreat planned in the near future? Please tell us about it!
“Yes! My next one is in France set in the beautiful Cognac Country, this one came about really last-minute. The summer retreat in Italy was a massive success I decided to squeeze in a little bit of Autumn sunshine, adding another before the years out. Our guests at Maison de la Vaure can expect plenty of classes in the refurbished yoga barn, delicious meals by Ceri Jones’ Natural Kitchen Adventures, long country walks & some healing time in the outdoors pool or in the sauna!”
Your career gives you the chance to travel a lot. Is there a place you’ve seen lately that impressed you positively, or a trip somewhere that was special? And would you give us any suggestions for unmissable cities and locations to visit?
“Following the Italy retreat about five of us travelled further south in Puglia, a beautiful region. We settled in the town of Lecce. It’s magnificent. Some days we enjoyed a historical walk around town, delicious food, others we headed off and beached hopped day-to-day on some of the amazing beaches which sit on the Ionic and Adriatic coastlines. I highly recommend a visit to this stunning place.”
This is a blog about travel and lifestyle. Would you give us one personal advice, a tip or a recommendation to improve our everyday life, or to help us through these modern times?
“I think we just need to pace ourselves. I’ve always been one to run around, I’m starting to go much steadier, taking as little as 5-10 minutes a day (whenever I can) to slow down and meditate, breathe deep and just enjoy a little bit of ‘being in the moment’.”
[Will Wheeler is a London yoga teacher who runs classes, events and retreats. Find out more.]